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Testing audiophile claims and myths - Page 97

post #1441 of 2512

I just looked in google for a random mp3 bit rate blind test, took it and came here to look for a post just like this! 

 

I took the mp3ornot 128 vs 320 kbps test. I used just my laptop's soundcard and sennheiser HD 598. It was really easy to tell both apart and got a consistent correct score. I had a little handicap; my left ear can register up to 22 Khz (according to the horrible, excruciating, and painfully boring 40-min sound test with the audiologist my workplace forces us to take) so in two of those songs there was a certain pitch at the end of high notes that wasn't present in the more compressed file. Bass impact and general "noise" shows off which one is the lower quality too. There are some clear artifacts at the end of some notes that give away the lower quality compression, too.

 

But the most interesting thing I found about this sound test is the fact that it was far easier to determine which was the lower quality file not by asking myself which sounds better, but which sounds worse, which isn't the point of having the pleasure of listening to music, is it? AAC and Vorbis at 128 kbps sound pretty good with far less artifacts and should do a good job of reducing the size of not so musically demanding (to call it something) files.


Edited by Arkyle - 9/30/12 at 4:34pm
post #1442 of 2512
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkyle View Post

I just looked in google for a random mp3 bit rate blind test, took it and came here to look for a post just like this! 

 

I took the mp3ornot 128 vs 320 kbps test. I used just my laptop's soundcard and sennheiser HD 598. It was really easy to tell both apart and got a consistent correct score. I had a little handicap; my left ear can register up to 22 Khz (according to the horrible, excruciating, and painfully boring 40-min sound test with the audiologist my workplace forces us to take) so in two of those songs there was a certain pitch at the end of high notes that wasn't present in the more compressed file. Bass impact and general "noise" shows off which one is the lower quality too. There are some clear artifacts at the end of some notes that give away the lower quality compression, too.

 

But the most interesting thing I found about this sound test is the fact that it was far easier to determine which was the lower quality file not by asking myself which sounds better, but which sounds worse. 

128 kbps really gives itself up with the poor high pitches. But I always thougtht that above 320 kbps, human ear cannot tell the difference. I'll put it to the test one day.

post #1443 of 2512
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Walrus View Post

128 kbps really gives itself up with the poor high pitches. But I always thougtht that above 320 kbps, human ear cannot tell the difference. I'll put it to the test one day.

Haven't tried it, but I'm pretty sure the only way to tell the difference is because of the artifacts (like pre-echo) the mp3 file may have. 

post #1444 of 2512

Extremely interesting and eye opening thread. I can't be bothered doing a search but- is there any benefit in lstening to HD (>16 bit, 44khz) files vs "normal definition" (16,44) files)? Also same question in regard to bi-amping speakers vs single amping speakers.

post #1445 of 2512
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfac73 View Post

Extremely interesting and eye opening thread. I can't be bothered doing a search but- is there any benefit in lstening to HD (>16 bit, 44khz) files vs "normal definition" (16,44) files)? Also same question in regard to bi-amping speakers vs single amping speakers.


I think that (bi- or single amping speaks) has so much to do with your set up. If you really have that great of a system that it exceeds a passive crossover, sure, if not, it's probably deleterious. At least I know that the engineering of my passive crossovered speakers was engineered thusly, and can work with my simple hifi system. I've thought about switching to bi-amped, but it just seemed like so much added headache. Aynway, here's an interesting article: http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/biamping.html

 

That isn't to negate the benefits in a very truly professional set up. If the sound engineer is taking into account the size and shape of the room, and designing amps and speakers to tune each spectrum, it makes sense to me. To the average user, it seems like more stuff to mess up. But, I'm sure others will strongly disagree with me. Regarding the audio file there was a site I found once where you could challenge yourself. I failed. Here's the site: http://mp3ornot.com/

 

I used to rip my stuff in 128, and now use 320. My 320k files sound much better, but in retrospect, I think that has more to do with improvements in mp3 algorithms than it does file size.


Edited by scootsit - 9/30/12 at 11:52pm
post #1446 of 2512

I also remember reading somewhere that users would not be able to hear the difference between 320 kb/s lossy vs lossless audio. Now the difference between low bitrate vs 320 is debatable. I can also gather from elswhere in this thread that the difference between HD audio and normal def audio is also debatable. So can we conclude from this that there is no difference between low bit mp3 and HD audio?

post #1447 of 2512

Has anyone done any testing on the differences in the sound quality between  headphones ?

post #1448 of 2512
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfac73 View Post

I also remember reading somewhere that users would not be able to hear the difference between 320 kb/s lossy vs lossless audio. Now the difference between low bitrate vs 320 is debatable. I can also gather from elswhere in this thread that the difference between HD audio and normal def audio is also debatable. So can we conclude from this that there is no difference between low bit mp3 and HD audio?

 

A lot of people can't hear the differences between 320 and lossless, however a lot of people do claim to hear a difference between 128 and lossless. I personal do feel that I hear a difference but in my case a difference DAC is involved.



Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfac73 View Post

Has anyone done any testing on the differences in the sound quality between  headphones ?


It has been tested many times

http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-data-sheet-downloads

post #1449 of 2512
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfac73 View Post

I also remember reading somewhere that users would not be able to hear the difference between 320 kb/s lossy vs lossless audio. Now the difference between low bitrate vs 320 is debatable. I can also gather from elswhere in this thread that the difference between HD audio and normal def audio is also debatable. So can we conclude from this that there is no difference between low bit mp3 and HD audio?

 

My understanding so far from a limited number of ABX tests is that between 320 and above a comparison between bit rates is harder than between 320 and below.

post #1450 of 2512
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfac73 View Post

Has anyone done any testing on the differences in the sound quality between  headphones ?

 

Not with blind testing, no.

post #1451 of 2512
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parall3l View Post

 


It has been tested many times

http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-data-sheet-downloads

 

Sorry, but that is a comparison of measurements, not SQ.

post #1452 of 2512

If you know what the various measurements sound like, you can figure out what the headphone sounds like.

post #1453 of 2512
Quote:
Originally Posted by scootsit View Post


I think that (bi- or single amping speaks) has so much to do with your set up. If you really have that great of a system that it exceeds a passive crossover, sure, if not, it's probably deleterious.

 

In all cases, the two crossovers are doing the same thing. The only difference is with overall load on the amp. Put simply: an amp that can deal with your bass can also deal with your mid/treble; and put more simply: an amp that can deal with both is cheaper than two amps which can deal with one.

 

The only place I've found any use for multi-amping within a single speaker (and I do have a setup like this) is when using active crossovers.

post #1454 of 2512
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

If you know what the various measurements sound like, you can figure out what the headphone sounds like.

To me, it perhaps sounds easier than it is. Wouldn't you also have to take into account whether it is open or closed, impedance, type of drivers and cup material (and probably other things I haven't thought of)? (I'm probably being Captain Obvious, so forgive me). 

post #1455 of 2512

Measurements are a good benchmark, but they obviously can't tell the entire story.

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